Dimensions of the Soccer Pitch

This is the Soccer Pitch Page of the How to Play Soccer-Soccer School on Spain-Football.Org.

Scroll down the page for the rules, tips and techniques, videos, book recommendations and lots more interesting stuff!


The basic dimensions and layout of the soccer pitch have varied very little in the last hundred years - it's difficult to understand then that some top level grounds don't seem to be adequate.

Obviously the length of the soccer pitch is an important factor but many people seem to forget that it's the width of the pitch that can have a crucial effect on the game.



For example, a team like FC Barcelona who - with Messi and Alves - play attacking football down the right wing find it much more difficult to play their game on a narrow pitch.


In This Section:

The Soccer Pitch | The Soccer Ball | The Number of Players | Soccer Kit | The Referee | The Linesman | The Time | Starting and Restarting the Game | When is the Ball In or Out Of Play? | Scoring a Goal | The Offside Rule | Breaking the Rules | Free Kicks | Penalties | Throw Ins | Goal Kicks | Corners


The Layout of the Playing Area

The playing area is rectangular with the byline - often known as the goal line (not to be confused with the area between the goalposts) - being the shorter of the two. The pitch must be marked out using white lines, which are included as part of the playing area.

As you can see from the diagram below, the standard pitch measurements can vary from anything between 90 and 120 metres in length by 45 to 90 metres wide - a factor that considerably changes the tactics of the game.


Soccer Pitch Layout and Dimensions



The Goals

The goalposts and crossbar can be square, rectangular, round or eliptical but they HAVE TO BE WHITE.

In most professional competitions it's obligatory - and in many amateur competitions it's only recommended - that a net be a fixture at the back of the goal.


Stopping the Game

The Referee is the only person with the authority to decide whether the soccer pitch can be played on or not - and he can decide either BEFORE or AFTER the match.

There are three circumstances that permit the momentary or permanent suspension of the game - the pitch is in a bad state, bad weather conditions (rain, fog etc.) or bad ground conditions (eg. no electricity for floodlights).





What Is the Technical Area?

The technical area extends one metre on either side of the bench and forward to within a metre of the touchline. Noboby sitting on the bench - not even the coach - is allowed to step outside this area during the match.

The only exception is when the referee authorises the doctor or the coach to look after an injured player.


The Strange Case of Fog

If heavy fog comes down over the soccer pitch during the game, the referee should ask the linesmen to position themselves at each of the corner flags at diagonally opposite ends of the pitch.

If the two linesmen can see each other, the game can continue. If not, the referee can suspend the match.


Playing and Coaching Soccer - Useful Resources

As I do more and more research on the Internet on football-related topics I come across an ever increasing number of resources. Here are a few of the best ones I´ve found so far but with time this could turn into a complete section on different aspects of the art of playing and coaching.

Total Soccer Fitness is a free fitness course that comes in five email instalments and is ideal for players, parents and coaches alike.

Soccer Tutor is a set of 250 Soccer Drills endorsed by Adidas, Umbro and Leyton Orient amongst others. If you coach a youth team and want to work on their soccer skills, this selection will keep you in ideas for season after season as your players advance from beginner to professional. It´s particularly useful if you plan on taking your your FA or UEFA coaching licence and even if you're only interested watch the demo video – the guy that does the voiceover is so obviously a football professional. Game of two halves, innit?

The Fastbreak Soccer Practice Book Although not quite as intuitive as Soccer Tutor also contains Soccer Drills, this ebook is worth having a look at if only for the free Training Schedules available in PDF format.

Elite Soccer Coach is a very handy guide for football coaches and comes with two more ebooks on Fitness and Formations.

Blast The Ball is a very handy teaching video that analyses how to kick a ball – covers everything from techniques, aerodynamics, parts of the ball etc. The promo video on the HomePage certainly convinced me.





The Soccer Pitch | The Soccer Ball | The Number of Players | Soccer Kit | The Referee | The Linesman | The Time | Starting and Restarting the Game | When is the Ball In or Out Of Play? | Scoring a Goal | The Offside Rule | Breaking the Rules | Free Kicks | Penalties | Throw Ins | Goal Kicks | Corners


Take Advantage of the Space on the Soccer Pitch

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